“Hobbs and Shaw” and the ever-changing landscape of the modern action movie
You know how every summer there is at least one big, loud, noisy movie. I think for Summer 2019, David Leitch’s “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw” takes the cake but not just because of pure, raw, volume, it also helps that the movie is one of the most over the top action movies of recent years. It’s not a crazy as “Furious Seven” but it’s up there.
But, I digress; I actually wanted to talk about the evolution of action movies over the years. As a film viewer and filmgoer, you can always see trends in filmmaking that range from the types of comedy you see to the types of action movies there are. I feel like those two genres fluctuate more than any other genre, the only other one being horror. Cause lets face it, dramas are always the same more or less. I mean lets face it, Shakespeare.
I think that this most recent trend in action movies can be backtracked to Leitch’s own film, “John Wick” whom he co-directed with Chad Stahelski. It’s the raw kinetic energy that those action sequences bring all while the camera stays fluid and not shaky. The long takes also help with that. There is a smoothness to the camera work that stays on the action up front.
Looking back at action films over the last twenty years and trends in film last on average 10 years or so. So the quick cutting style brought on by the “Jason Bourne” series started in 2002. That quick cutting style allowed then 64 year old actor Liam Neeson to kick ass in such a way that they could hide his age in the editing.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham are in a dysfunctional hetero-marriage left off from the last “Fast & Furious” movie. The villain, “Brixton” played by Idris Elba comes off like Iron Man crossed with a Transformer hell bent on turning his fellow man into human Transformer hybrid.
From my experience in working as a development assistant, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Leitch about ten years ago back when he was just doing stunt coordinating while doing one of my many internships during the great slump of 2008, I handed him a bottle of water and he very politely said, thank you.
Filmmaking goes through trends just like any industry. It is ultimately how the audience responds which is what really matters anyway.